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Elliman Cares: Love Rocks NYC Cofounder Greg Williamson on the Unifying Energy of Music

By Grace Cassidy

Rising up in Brooklyn Heights, Greg Williamson had a front-row seat to the residential actual property enterprise. His mom, Madeline Williamson, was as soon as Douglas Elliman’s top-selling dealer within the borough and impressed her son to observe in her footsteps. “She taught me all the things I do know concerning the enterprise,” says Williamson, who has constantly ranked among the many high 1% of brokers within the nation since starting his profession 17 years in the past.

Greg Williamson

Along with being a profitable actual property agent, Williamson has devoted his time and vitality to charitable and philanthropic pursuits—primarily by way of the nonprofit God’s Love We Ship, which prepares and delivers free medically tailor-made meals to people who find themselves too sick to offer for themselves. He started working with God’s Love 10 years in the past, and in 2017, he deepened his involvement with the group by cofounding Love Rocks NYC, a marquee annual profit live performance that has raised greater than $20 million to this point.

The sixth annual occasion will probably be held March 10 on the Beacon Theatre and have performances by Keith Richards & The X-Pensive Winos, Mavis Staples, Melissa Etheridge and Hozier, amongst different musical acts. Elliman Insider spoke with Williamson within the run-up to the present about his historical past with God’s Love, pursuing passions past actual property and making good on his aim “to unite individuals by way of the facility of music, to assist New Yorkers in want and to have a foul ass annual rock ‘n’ roll live performance.”

EI: What made you wish to become involved with God’s Love We Ship?

GW: After my spouse and I acquired married, we seemed for a charitable group to become involved with—and ideally to develop with. We visited quite a few nonprofit organizations, and God’s Love We Ship, with its mission of feeding people who find themselves too sick to prepare dinner or store for themselves, resonated with us most. We had each misplaced mother and father who struggled with consuming and nourishment in direction of the tip of their lives, and God’s Love was conserving individuals alive with medically tailor-made meals. It immediately hit dwelling. It has now been 10 years of being concerned with God’s Love, and my affiliation with the group has modified my life in methods I by no means might have imagined.

Williamson with Martin Brief (Picture: Kim Mancuso)

EI: What impressed you to start out Love Rocks NYC?

GW: I used to be a number of years into my journey with God’s Love—I had joined the Board of Trustees, and my spouse was on the Board of Administrators—and I needed to take my involvement to the subsequent stage. I had additionally lately give up consuming, and I felt a powerful need to pursue passions past actual property.

Music has all the time been in my DNA, and I’ve been seeing and listening to music since I used to be a younger child. So, having dabbled in a number of smaller productions and actually having no concept what I used to be doing or stepping into, I had the loopy concept to construct one of many largest profit live shows in New York Metropolis—and to do it on the iconic Beacon Theatre. In fact, the beneficiary was going to be God’s Love We Ship as a result of we liked the group. They already had an amazing status, and I had a sense that the trigger was one which each sponsors and artists would wish to get behind.

Williamson with Invoice Murray and Pedrito Martinez. (Picture: Kim Mancuso)

EI: Beginning an annual occasion of this scale isn’t any small feat! What was that have like? 

It was troublesome and daunting, to say the least. Everybody within the music enterprise informed me to give up whereas I used to be forward. All of them counseled me for the thought and appreciated my willpower and keenness to present again, however they defined that the thought was one which was extremely unlikely to succeed. Everybody referenced how unusual it’s to see a profitable profit live performance—which means one which makes cash for the charity and frequently has artists donate their time—yr after yr.

I didn’t quit or take no for a solution, however I knew there was no manner this was taking place with out companions. My first name was to international occasions producer and household buddy Nicole Rechter (with whom I now have a music manufacturing firm known as RWE Companions). My second assembly, which took a number of months to schedule, was with the style designer John Varvatos. John’s model is steeped in rock ‘n’ roll, and I knew he had deep connections to artists and other people within the music enterprise. I additionally should give main credit score to the oldsters at God’s Love and our music director, Will Lee. With out their ardour, partnership and belief, the venture would by no means have gotten off the bottom.

Six years later, now we have raised over $20 million and funded over two million meals for New Yorkers in want. The record of musicians and actors which have performed Love Rocks NYC is astounding. The quantity of press that the live performance has garnered for the charity, particularly an area charity, is unprecedented. All the celebrities aligned, and it has really change into one of the vital anticipated live shows throughout the nation.

It’s proof that when you will have the proper intentions and encompass your self with good and kindhearted individuals, the sky is the restrict by way of what you possibly can accomplish and the influence you possibly can have.

Study extra about God’s Love We Ship and Love Rocks NYC.

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